Imagine a bar, on a beach, at the height of summer: the sun is down, but the night is warm, and drifting over the sand is the slowed down, bassed up sound of dub.
Starting cool and sweet with Rise Up, they quickly upped the tempo of the swaying crowd with Ratatat before a version of Dawn Penn’s You Don’t Love Me that was even slower and more louche than the original, if such a thing could be possible.
The band served up a down-and-dirty mix of dub, reggae and ska to a heated crowd, pouring track after track over an entranced audience of holidaymakers and locals as the waves lapped the beach outside.
They moved seamlessly from old album hits to newer numbers from their just-released Short Change EP, from entrancing rhythms to powerful punky-rap anthems.
Drummer Jamie Kyriakides and guitarist Josh Waters Rudge provided much of the firecracker attitude, mixed with a hint of rap bravado, while Jon Doyle swayed away on bass, but the star was definitely multi-instrumentalist and singer Marcia Richards.
She ruled the stage, beguiling vocals laid over her work on keys, samples, flute, and even melodica. Her voice swirled in and over the band’s sound, bringing an almost haunting tone to some tracks, and a bounce to others, such as Rubadub – providing a counterpoint to the lads.
For a four piece, The Skints made a lot of noise. They weren’t over-loud, but there was a broadness and a depth to their sound which seemed to take in more than just the instruments at their disposal, and covered a wide range of influences into the bargain.
The steamy, seamy euphoria flowed like the tide outside, before peaking during the encore with Break Me Down, and then everything slowly ebbed out, leaving a calm that mirrored the empty shore.